The name of Cuvée 1522 is a tribute to the year when the Philipponnat family settled in the village of Ay, in the heart of the Champagne vine-growing area. The family’s ancestors can be traced back in time through the House archives right back to the first, Apvril le Philipponnat,who owned vines in “Le Léon”, between Ay and Dizy from 1522.
The harvest at Philipponnat took place from 13 to 24 September, with a halt from the 15 to the 18 September to ensure ideal maturity. Winter and spring frosts, a cold period immediately after flowering, and coulure limited the harvest yield. Wet weather in July increased the workload, especially weeding (performed entirely mechanically: tractor equipped with inter-vine hoe, draught horse and even manual hoe). Quality lived up to expectations, especially for the Pinot Noirs, whose high sugar content (from 11.5° to more than 12°) was matched with very satisfactory acidity. The high proportion of malic acid helps to maintain a wonderful yet not excessive freshness.
On the eye: Light gold in color.
On the nose: A fresh nose with aromas of sweet almond, and notes of candied lemon peel, dried cranberries and red fruit jellies. Concentrated and precise, it is very representative of 2012.
On the palate: Fresh and pure, the palate expresses notes of spices that are typical of the Ay terroir. The texture is chalky, and the finish is very mineral.
Cuvée 1552 is wonderfully full-bodied, making it an excellent champagne to accompany meals. Sweet or sweet and sour dishes should, however, be avoided. Its very dry character makes this extra brut cuvée a superb accompaniment to seafood and poached or grilled fish. Its dryness also contrasts well with the fattiness of poultry such as capon. Even bolder matches can be made with caviar or very spicy dishes such as Indian tandoori.
Varietals: 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay
Appellation: Exclusively Grands Crus. The Pinot Noir comes from the vineyard at “Le Léon” in Ay, and in Mailly, and the Chardonnay from Verzy.
Aging: Aged for eight years. After this time, the freshness is still apparent, but the benefit of aging on lees has reached full potential.